Despite three wins on the then European Tour, Wang did his national duty over 18 months ending this past July, then returned to a life as a professional golfer that at one time saw him ranked 39th in the world.
From 27-year-old’s four starts in the International Series on the Asian Tour since (T22, T5, T23, T3), one might have thought Wang had it easy during his army stint where he could work on his game and on the receiving end of some special treatment.
However that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“I had no golf at all, just training every day. It was pretty hard for me for one and a half years,” Wang said this week at the Australian PGA in Brisbane where he is returning to the DP World Tour where he has a full card for the new season.
Wang’s card for the season is secure courtesy of the “membership extension” category that typically covers medical exemptions for players with status who have been significantly injured.
And it is fair to say the Korean has been looking forward to talking up that exemption for some time.
“Think about golf every day,” he said of how he got through his time in the military where he was required to “shoot guns every day and run every day” as part of his training.
Despite not enjoying the training, the daily exercise has the 2017 Qatar Masters winner in magnificent physical shape, a condition that surely helped him shoot an opening five-under 66 at Royal Queensland on Thursday before a second round that was 10 shots worse to make the cut by one at level par.
“The feeling is not like 100 percent,” Wang said when assesing the state of his game. “I keep trying because it is only getting better I think.”
Inconsistency can probably be forgiven after his last two years, but don’t count on scores higher than 75 becoming a regular occurrence for Wang as he gets back to doing the thing he loves when representing his nation, as opposed to his service that was quite the opposite.
“No it was not a good experience,” he summarised the time with a smile.